Like many couples, Deanna and Justin Barron met in college.
She was a senior, he was a freshman, and both were theater majors at the University of Central Missouri. As their relationship blossomed over five years, they celebrated many opening nights, anniversaries and birthdays together.
To commemorate those special events, Justin and Deanna exchanged Pop! Vinyl figurines — small, cartoonized versions of fictional characters. Their favorites were inspired by Marvel comics or “Game of Thrones.”
In April 2015, Deanna and Justin met for a picnic in the park prior to opening night for their respective shows, “Cat in the Hat” and “Guys and Dolls.” When Deanna opened a gift box from Justin and saw a small blond figurine, she thought it was another show-open gift to add to the collection. Then she noticed that the figurine was labeled “Bride Deanna.” And the box? It was covered in movie quotes about marriage such as “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible,” from “When Harry Met Sally.”
When Deanna looked up, Justin was holding a ring.
The Olathe couple were married May 22 at The Bauer, a historic warehouse at 115 W. 18th St. The professional actors wanted to keep the wedding affordable, so Deanna DIY-ed many of the details, down to the bouquets and boutonnières.
The creative couple also designed their own ceremony and penned their own vows. Their advice to anyone planning a wedding: “Make it your own!” Deanna said. “It’s your day, the guests want to hear your story.”
Inspiration: “Pinterest was a very big resource for me,” Deanna said. “We were trying to stick to our budget, and I knew one way I could do that was to make a lot of the details on my own.”
Location: The Bauer
Length: The 4 p.m. ceremony was followed by a cocktail hour, dinner and dancing. The reception ended at midnight.
Dress code: Semi-formal
Officiant: The Barrons’ friend, Bob Wearing
Wedding party: The Barrons had seven bridesmaids and seven groomsmen. “It got to be bigger than we had originally thought, but we couldn’t imagine the day without these people,” Deanna said. The group included family and friends from all walks — those they met in elementary school, college and summer theater.
Something borrowed: Deanna wore her mother’s wedding day veil. “I took (it) apart from a three-part veil, and made it into one single long veil,” Deanna said. “It was simple and meaningful to me.”
A special tradition: The couple chose to do a ring warming, where the wedding rings were passed to grandparents, parents and the bridal party. Each recipient took a moment to pray over the rings or think positive thoughts for the couple. During this moment, Deanna’s dad sang “Love Is a Way,” a song he wrote for his wedding to Deanna’s mother.
A DIY ceremony: The bride and groom wrote their entire ceremony. Deanna said she did a lot of research about different types of ceremonies and came up with something that felt special and unique.
Flowers: “Out of everything, this was probably the thing I was most proud of,” Deanna said. “With everything else, I had all year to figure out and make. But flowers had to wait ’til the day before.”
The bride ordered most of the flowers from Dutch Flowers in the City Market about eight weeks before the big day. After she picked that order up at 8 a.m. on her wedding day, she grabbed some wild flowers and peonies from other vendors in the market, including one who made her gorgeous bridal bouquet on the spot. The rest of the bouquets and boutonnieres were assembled by the bridal party in about an hour.
Vows: The couple wrote their own vows and kept them a surprise until the ceremony. Both “had a very similar theme of adventure,” Deanna said. “We both cried our way through them.”
Band: 2 Proud 2 Beg, a local Motown band. “We knew that they would keep the party going all night,” Deanna said, “and they did. The band stopped playing exactly at midnight and people wanted to keep dancing!”
First dance: A slowed-down version of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers. Deanna said this cover was customized just for them by Ron Lackey on piano. “It was gorgeous,” she said.
Processional: An instrumental version of “Mess Is Mine,” by Vance Joy
Father/daughter dance: “When You Wish Upon a Star” by Dion and the Belmonts
Mother/son dance: A cover of the Beatles’ “In My Life” by Ed Sheeran
Theme: Garden/city chic. “I was very drawn to a garden look,” Deanna said, but she combined it with a “city feel” to keep with The Bauer’s urban warehouse vibe.
Handmade: Deanna made the centerpieces from items she collected throughout the year, including wine bottles from friends. “I got a lot of things from my friends who already got married,” she said. “Anything that I bought, I wanted to make sure I could use later on to decorate our home. No two tables were the same.”
Deanna also made a photo backdrop, a #blissfullybarron sign, and banners for the dessert table and the bar. The decor was set up by the groom and his groomsmen, plus a handful of other friends, while the bride and her maids got ready.
The Dress: An ivory A-line gown with a sweetheart neckline.
Dress Designer: Wtoo by Watters
Number of guests: 165
Food: Filet mignon sliders, salad and a mac and cheese buffet featuring three types of mac and cheese — buffalo, smoked and white cheddar — with an assortment of toppings.
Wedding cake: A small, two-tier cake in the couple’s favorite flavors — chocolate with raspberry filling and spice cake — by Kate’s Kakes, a friend of the bride. The bakery also provided carrot cake, vanilla and lemon-raspberry mini cupcakes. The groom’s cake was mocha flavored.
Two friends of Justin’s parents helped make more sweets for the dessert buffet: Rice Krispies treats, trifles, cookies, fruit and more.
Booze: The groom’s dad is a master bartender, Deanna said. He put together two full bars and hired bartenders to work them.
Honeymoon: Deanna and Justin moved to Denver less than a week after their wedding so they could perform in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and other shows over the summer. Their honeymoon is on hold until December, when they plan to travel to Mexico.
Hair: Shana Nicole Beauty
Makeup: Ashley Nelson Studios
Photography: Manon Halliburton Photography
Ceremony music: Hope Ragan, cello, and Ashley Pankow, piano
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Ink’s monthly wedding feature shares stories and photos from KC couples. Want to see your story in Down the Aisle? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.